Books For Kids: Frederick Douglass

Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, Illustrated by James E. Ransome

This picture book biography chronicles the youth of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African American figures in American history. Douglass spent his life advocating for the equality of all, and it was through reading that he was able to stand up for himself and others. This is a moving and captivating look at the young life of the inspirational man who said, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History

By Walter Dean Myers, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Frederick Douglass was a self-educated slave in the South who grew up to become an icon. He was a leader of the abolitionist movement, a celebrated writer, an esteemed speaker, and a social reformer, proving that, as he said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Who Was Frederick Douglass

By April Jones Prince, Illustrated by Robert Squier

Born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, Frederick Douglass was determined to gain freedom. Once he realized that knowledge was power, he secretly learned to read and write to give himself an advantage. After escaping to the North in 1838, as a free man he gave powerful speeches about his experience as a slave. He was so impressive that he became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln.

Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery

By William Miller, Illustrated by Cedric Lucas

Born into slavery, young Frederick Douglass dreams of the day he and his people will be free. Yet until that day, his only escape is through the books he reads. They take him to worlds far from his own. When a menacing overseer named Covey sees that Frederick is different from the other slaves, he sets out to “break” him. But Frederick’s surprising response to Covey’s brutality is an act of courage that frees forever what no person can hold captive: his spirit. 

Frederick Douglass Abolitionist Hero

By George E. Stanley, Illustrated by Meryl Henderson

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery. He was separated from his family when he was young. He worked day and night and was beaten for no other reason than the color of his skin. How could anyone ever overcome such overwhelming odds? But Frederick eventually became a famous abolitionist, author, statesman, and reformer. He triumphed over impossible obstacles and paved the way for others to achieve freedom.

Frederick Douglass: National Geographic Readers

By Barbara Kramer

Discover the world of one of America’s most celebrated abolitionists, writers, and orators and learn about his life, achievements, and the challenges he faced along the way.

Frederick Douglass (True Books)

By Josh Gregory

Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass knew from an early age that all people deserved freedom. Discover how he secretly educated himself and taught fellow slaves how to read. And how he escaped to freedom and became one of the nation’s most persuasive voices for abolition.

Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas

By Dean Robbins, Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Aiko

Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories fighting to win rights for women and African Americans. This story is inspired by a statue in their hometown of Rochester, New York, which shows the two friends having tea.

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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Books For Kids: Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott

By Ntozake Shange, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta Scott knew the unfairness of life in the segregated south. A yearning for equality began to grow. Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision of change through nonviolent protest. It was the beginning of a journey with dreams of freedom for all. 4-8 years

Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights

By George E. Stanley, Illustrated by Meryl Henderson

Coretta Scott King is well known for being the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and for her own civil rights and world peace activism. She also received many awards and honorary degrees. But before she did all of those impressive things, Coretta was a strong little girl who could out climb anyone in her neighborhood, was very close to her dad, and had a beautiful singing voice. Coretta learned that if you work hard enough, your dreams can come true. 8-12 years

Who Was Coretta Scott King

By Gail Herman, Illustrated by Gregory Copeland

Growing up in Alabama, Coretta Scott King graduated valedictorian from her high school before becoming one of the first African American students at Antioch College in Ohio. It was there that she became politically active and joined the local chapter of the NAACP. After her marriage to Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta took part in the Civil Rights Movement. Following her husband’s assassination in 1968, she assumed leadership of the movement. 8-12 years

Coretta Scott King: Dare to Dream

By Angela Shelf Medearis, Illustrated by Anna Rich

From her childhood encounters with discrimination to her activism as an adult, Coretta Scott King dreamed of finding a place where people were treated equally. This biography tells the story of how she came to stand up against prejudice and violence during the African American Civil Rights Movement. 8-12 years

Women Who Broke the Rules: Coretta Scott King

By Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Laura Freeman

Coretta Scott King, the wife of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., established her own career in activism. She took part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, worked to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and founded the Center for Nonviolent Change. She dedicated her life to fighting for civil rights. 6-9 years

A Book To Share With Kids:

My Life, My Love, My Legacy

By Coretta Scott King and Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds

Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in 20th century America. She was a brave leader, who, in the face of hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life. 

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers. Although I have added the age ranges that the publishers used, these books can be for all children and adults too. 

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Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic

Amelia Earhart first became interested in airplanes during World War I when she was a volunteer nurse’s aide at a Canadian military hospital. In 1920, she watched her first airplane exhibition. It took place in Long Beach, California. Amelia’s father arranged a plane ride for her the next day. “By the time I got 200 to 300 feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly,” she said.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Amelia took flying lessons from a female pilot, Neta Snook. She then bought her first plane and named it “The Canary” because it was painted yellow. After taking stunt flying lessons, Amelia flew in air shows. She broke an altitude world record by flying 14,000 feet high. In 1923, she earned her pilot’s license.

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. Soon, Amelia was asked to become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. She would be the captain of the flight and keep the flight log. But Amelia would not fly the plane.

Amelia Dressed For Her 1928 Flight

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On June 17, 1928, Amelia, pilot Bill Stultz, and mechanic and co-pilot, Slim Gordon took off from Newfoundland headed for London, England. Their plane, named Friendship, could take off from and land in water. They flew into fog at 3,000 feet, and then a snowstorm. Bill Stultz flew lower and finally found sunshine. But it didn’t last and again they flew into fog. Unable to see, they radioed ships below asking for their location. Then the radio broke. When they had only one hour of fuel left, Stulz flew down through the clouds and found a ship. The fliers tried to make contact with the ship, but were unable to. They knew if they landed in the water, Amelia would not be credited with flying across the Atlantic. They continued flying and finally spotted land. It was Burry Port, Wales.

When Amelia returned to America, she was a celebrity. New York City treated her, Bill Stulz, and Slim Gordon to a ticker-tape parade. Amelia wrote a book about the flight titled, 20 Hrs., 40 min.: Our Flight in the Friendship. 

Amelia was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. But she hadn’t flown the plane. Now Amelia wanted to be the first woman to pilot a plane solo across the Atlantic. 

Lockheed Vega

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In 1929, she bought a red Lockheed Vega airplane. She set new speed and altitude records in the Vega. She flew from the East coast to the West coast and back again. In 1932, Amelia was ready to attempt to duplicate the solo flight of Charles Lindbergh.

On May 20, 1932, exactly five years after Lindbergh’s historic flight, Amelia took off in her Vega airplane from Newfoundland. She hoped to reach Paris as Lindbergh had. At first the sky was clear, but then Amelia flew into rain and then ice. She flew lower to melt the ice, but her altimeter had broken. She could no longer tell how high up she was. Amelia had to be very careful not to fly close to the ocean. 

Amelia in Northern Island

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

When her reserve fuel tank leaked, Amelia abandoned her plans to land in Paris. She looked for land and spotted a pasture. After safely landing, a farmer told her she was in Northern Ireland. The trip took 14 hours and 56 minutes over 2,026 miles. Amelia Earhart was now the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Books For Kids:

Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic

By Robert Burleigh, Illustrated by Wendell Minor

Daring Amelia

By Barbara Lowell, Illustrated by Jez Tuya


Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

By Candace Fleming

 More Books About Amelia Earhart:

To Learn More About Early Female Aviators:

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Books for Kids: Alexander Hamilton

Who Was Alexander Hamilton?

By Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso, Illustrated by Dede Putra

Born in the West Indies and orphaned as a child, Alexander Hamilton made his way to the American Colonies. He fought in the American Revolution and rose to the rank of Major General. He became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war, Alexander became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. 8-12 years

Alexander Hamilton American Hero

By Barbara Lowell, Illustrated by George Ermos

With his face on the ten-dollar and an award-winning musical about his life, it’s clear that Alexander Hamilton’s story is one worth telling. Despite feeling like an outsider, Hamilton fought hard to form a united nation with a strong central government. And many of his ideas are still relevant today! With this illustrated leveled reader, kids can learn about the man who, in many ways, was a true American hero. 6-8 years   Will be out on June 26.

Alexander Hamilton The Outsider

By Jean Fritz

Most people know that Alexander Hamilton was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr, and that his face is on the ten dollar bill. But he was much more than that!

Born in the West Indies, Hamilton arrived in New York as an immigrant, an outsider. He fought in the American Revolution and became George Washington’s most valuable aide-de-camp. As one of America’s Founding Fathers, he was there for the writing of the Constitution and became the first Secretary of the Treasury. Alexander Hamilton was a man of action, honorable, ambitious, and fiercely loyal to his adopted country. 8-12 years

Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father

By Jonathan Hennessey, Illustrated by Justin Greenwood

Alexander Hamilton was one of the most influential figures in United States history. He fought in the Revolutionary War, helped develop the Constitution, and as the first Secretary of the Treasury established landmark economic policy that we still use today. Hennessey and Greenwood tell the story of this improbable hero who helped shape the United States of America. A graphic novel.

Alexander Hamilton From Orphan to Founding Father

By Monica Kulling, Illustrated by Valerio Fabbretta

Did you know that one of our Founding Fathers was not born in America? An orphan from the West Indies, Alexander Hamilton came to the colonies and played an important role in the Revolutionary War. He helped obtain the ratification of the Constitution. He was American’s first secretary of the treasury. A man of ambition, loyalty, and principle, he is now celebrated as the prominent patriot he was. 5-8 years

Alexander Hamilton Activity Book

By George Toufexis

This educational activity book celebrates the inspiring achievements of Alexander Hamilton. With challenging activities including: word searches, mazes, puzzles, spot-the-difference, secret codes and more. 9-12 years

The Duel:

The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr

By Judith St. George

In curiously parallel lives, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were both orphaned at an early age. Both were brilliant students, were staff officers under George Washington, and became war heroes. Each served in the newly formed government. Why, then, did these two face each other at dawn in a duel that ended with death for one and harsh criticism for the other. 112 pages

Aaron and Alexander:

The Most Famous Duel in American History

By Don Brown

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were both fierce patriots during the Revolutionary War, but the politics of the young United States of America put them in constant conflict. Their extraordinary story of bitter fighting and resentment culminates in their famous duel. 5-7 years

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

You may also like: Books For Kids: Founding Fathers

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Books For Kids: Christmas

Red and Lulu

By Matt Tavares

Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months. Once a year the people who live nearby string lights on the tree and sing: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Fortunately, it’s the season for miracles. 3-7 years

Christmas From Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bombers

By Tom Brokaw, Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett

This is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn country. Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which U.S. forces flew much needed supplies into Soviet-blockaded Berlin. Lt. Halvorsen offers gum to the German children gathered outside the Tempelhof Air Base. He knows they have very little and decides he will bomb Berlin with candy. 5 and up

The Christmas Truce: A True Story of World War I

By Aaron Shepard

Christmas Day, 1914, My dear sister Janet, It is 2:00 in the morning and most of our men are asleep in their dugouts — yet I could not sleep myself before writing to you of the wonderful events of Christmas Eve. In truth, what happened seems almost like a fairy tale, and if I hadn’t been through it myself, I would scarce believe it. Just imagine: While you and the family sang carols before the fire there in London, I did the same with enemy soldiers here on the battlefields of France! 9-12 years

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale About the Rockefeller Center Tree

By David Rubel, Illustrated by Jim LaMarche

The story opens in Depression-era New York City. Eight-year-old Henry and his father are selling Christmas trees. They give a tree to the construction workers building Rockefeller Center. Through the kindness of the construction workers and neighbors, Henry gets his wish for a home to replace his family’s shack. He plants a pinecone from the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It becomes a Christmas tree for Rockefeller Center when Henry is an old man. After Christmas, the tree’s wood is used to build a home for a family in need. 5-9 years

An Invisible Thread Christmas Story

By Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

Illustrated by Barry Root

Laura Schroff tells the story of the first Christmas that she and Maurice, a boy she met on the street asking for change, spent together. She shares how Maurice gave her a small white bear, and as she later learns, the one thing he had that he could truly call his own, to show her how grateful he was for their friendship. 4-8 years

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

By Susan Wojciechowki, Illustrated by P.J. Lynch

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. 6-9 years

The Family Under the Bridge

By Natalie Savage Carlson

Armand, an old Parisian living on the streets of Paris, relishes his solitary life. He begged and did odd jobs for money to keep himself warm and fed, and he liked his carefree life. Then one day just before Christmas, a struggling mother and her three children walked into his life. Though he tried to ignore their troubles, Armand soon found himself caring for the family and sharing his unusual home with them. It did not take Armand very long to realize that he had a ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than under the bridge.  8-12 years

Gifts of the Heart

By Patricia Polacco

Richie and Trisha want to buy Christmas gifts for their family, but they don’t have enough money. Enter Kay Lamity, a new housekeeper…but is that all she is? She comes into their lives like a whirlwind, brimming with positive energy and a can-do attitude. Kay not only straightens them out when it comes to whether or not Santa Claus is real, she teaches them something about gifts: the just-good-enough kind that come from the pocketbook and the unforgettable kind that come from the heart. Because of Kay, Trisha and Richie and their family have a Christmas morning they will never forget. 5-8 years

My favorite Christmas book, A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote. A beautiful book to share with children.

For some holiday fun, desserts paired with classic Christmas books at:

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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Books For Kids: Hanukkah

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

By Tanya Simon and Richard Simon

Illustrated by Mark Siegel

Oskar, a refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht arrives by ship in New York City. He has only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he experiences the city’s many holiday sights. He meets its various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life. 4-8 years

Gracie’s Night: A Hanukkah Story

By Lynn Taylor Gordon, Illustrated by Laurie Brown

There’s lots of love in Gracie’s and Papa’s lives, but not much money. Gracie finds a resourceful way to buy Papa some well-deserved Hanukkah gifts. But an encounter on a bitterly cold night opens her eyes and alters her plans. When we are brave enough to reach out instead of looking away, each of us can bring someone a miracle. 4-8 years

A Hanukkah with Mazel

By Joel Edward Stein, Illustrated by Elisa Vavouri

Misha, a poor artist, has no one to celebrate Hanukkah with until he discovers a hungry cat in his barn. The lucky little cat, whom Misha names Mazel, inspires him to turn each night of Hanukkah into something special. He doesn’t have money for Hanukkah candles, but he can use his artistic skills to bring light to his home as Mazel brings good luck to his life. 3-8 years

Latke, the Lucky Dog

By Ellen Fisher, Illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke

Rescued from an animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah, Latke the puppy joins the family just in time for the celebrations. Although he has trouble learning the house rules, he is one lucky dog. 5-7 years

The Trees of the Dancing Goats

By Patricia Polacco

Trisha loves the eight days of Hanukkah. Her mother stays home from work, her Babushka makes delicious potato latkes, and her Grampa carves wonderful animals out of wood as gifts for Trisha and her brother. In the middle of her family’s preparations for the festival of lights, Trisha visits her closest neighbors, expecting to find them decorating their house for Christmas. Instead they are all bedridden with scarlet fever. Trisha’s family is one of the few who has been spared from the epidemic. Grampa has an inspiration: they will cut down trees, decorate them, and secretly deliver them to the neighbors. “But what can we decorate then with?” Babushka asks. Although it is a sacrifice, Trisha realizes that Grampa’s carved animals are the perfect answer. 5-8 years

Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story

By Naomi Howland

Sadie and her four little brothers are very poor and always hungry. On the first night of Chanukah, Sadie performs a generous act, and in turn receives a frying pan that cooks up sizzling hot, golden latkes on command. Sadie tells her brothers never to use the magic pan, but when she goes out one afternoon, the mischievous boys can’t resist. They remember the words to start the pan cooking, but what were the words to make it stop? 4-7 years

The Story of Hanukkah

by David A. Adler, Illustrated by Jill Weber

No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recounting the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. In a simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem is retold. 5-8 years

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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Books For Kids: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

By Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Albert Einstein’s name is a synonym for genius. His wild case of bedhead and his playful sense of humor made him a media superstar, the first, maybe only, scientist-celebrity. He wasn’t much for lab work. In fact, he had a tendency to blow up experiments. What he liked to do was think in “thought experiments.” What was the result of all his thinking? Nothing less than the overturning of Newtonian physics. 8-12 years

On a Beam of Light: The Story of Albert Einstein

By Jennifer Berne, Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

Travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. See how imagination can make a powerful difference in a life. 6-9 years

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein

By Don Brown

When he was born in 1879, Albert was a peculiarly fat baby with an unusually big and misshaped head. When he was a child, he hit his sister, frustrated his teachers, and had few friends. But Albert’s childhood also included his brilliant capacity for puzzles and problem solving. He set his mind spinning with ideas. His ideas were destined to change the way we know and understand the world and our place in the universe. 4-7 years

Who Was Albert Einstein?

By Jess Braillier, Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker

Everyone has heard of Albert Einstein, but what exactly did he do? How much do kids really know about him besides his funny hair and genius label? Here’s the story of his life told in a funny, engaging way that explores the world he lived in and changed. 3-7 years.

Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids

By Jerome Pohlen

Albert Einstein made a lasting impact on the world of science with his genius, fascinating life, and unique personality. This book features lots of science activities. Ages 9 and up

Albert Einstein: National Geographic Readers

By Libby Romero

Explore one of the most recognized scientists in the world with this biography of physicist Albert Einstein. Kids will learn about his life, achievements, and the challenges he faced along the way. 6-9 years

Albert Einstein

By Frieda Wishinsky

This DK biography tackles one of the most colorful figures in science history, Albert Einstein. Ages 10 and up

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

You may also like Books For Kids: Scientists

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Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. Born into slavery about 1822, in Maryland, she escaped from the Brodess Farm in 1849, and traveled undetected to Philadelphia in the free state of Pennsylvania.

One of nine children, her parents named her Araminta and called her Minty. At age five or six she was “hired out” to a nearby family to care for their baby. Minty watched over the baby and if it cried, Minty was whipped. As a child she was hit with a metal object meant for another slave. She was severely wounded and suffered from seizures and headaches for the rest of her life. But she recovered from her injury and was able to work on the farm. She plowed, hauled logs, and drove oxen. When Minty married John Tubman around 1844, she changed her name to Harriet, her mother’s name. 

Slave Notice Published by Eliza Brodess

In 1849, Edward Brodess, her owner died. Harriet believed that she and members of her family would be sold by his widow, Eliza. Harriet and her brothers Ben and Harry slipped away. Because they had been “hired out,” Eliza Brodess did not learn of their escape right away. She published a runaway slave notice two weeks later. But Ben and Harry soon changed their minds and returned home. They convinced Harriet to return with them. Shortly after, she escaped again and made her way to freedom by night with the help of abolitionists and freed slaves on the Underground Railroad.

“When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields and I felt like I was in heaven.”

Harriet Tubman (left) and  Former Slaves She Helped Rescue

Once a free woman, Harriet decided to return to Maryland to help family members and other slaves travel to freedom. She returned thirteen times in about ten years and guided 70 slaves north.* Harriet guided the people she helped at night. She liked to travel in the winter months when the days were shorter. And Harriet knew that if she left on Saturday nights, the runaway slave notices wouldn’t be printed in the newspapers until Monday. Harriet worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad by leading escaping slaves through a network of safe houses. She earned the nickname “Moses of her people” by guiding slaves safely to northern states and Canada. 

A Woodcut of Harriet Tubman Dressed in Her Civil War Clothing

In 1860, at the start of the Civil War, Harriet became a scout, spy, and a nurse for the Union Army. She helped lead a raid on South Carolina plantations that liberated over 700 slaves.

Harriet Tubman in 1910

When the war ended, Harriet moved to Auburn, New York. She cared for her aging parents, whom she had helped to escape north, and other people who needed her help. She later became part of the suffrage movement and spoke publicly for women’s right to vote. Harriet died of pneumonia in 1913, an American hero. 

“I never ran my train off the track and never lost a passenger.” — Harriet Tubman

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

*Recent research gives the numbers as thirteen trips, 70 slaves, and disputes earlier figures.

You may like: Books for Kids — Underground Railroad

Books For Kids About Harriet Tubman:

Before She Was Harriet

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Who Was Harriet Tubman?

By Yona Zeldis McDonough, Illustrated by Who HQ

Escape North! The Story of Harriet Tubman

By Monica Kulling, Illustrated by Teresa Flavin

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman

By Alan Schroeder, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney


Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad

by Ann Petry


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Books For Kids: Civil Rights Movement

If You Were a Kid in the Civil Rights Movement

By Gwendolyn Hooks, Illustrated by Kelly Kennedy

Joyce Jenkins has recently moved to a new town with her family. She will soon be attending a segregated school for the first time. Connie Underwood is trying to figure out what her twin brothers are planning in secret. The two girls find themselves in the middle of a civil rights demonstration. The fight for equality will the country forever. 

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

There were signs all throughout town telling eight-year-old Connie where she could and could not go. But when Connie sees four young men take a stand for equal rights at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, she realizes that things may soon change. This event sparks a movement throughout her town and region. And while Connie is too young to march or give a speech, she helps her brother and sister make signs for the cause. Changes are coming to Connie’s town, but Connie just wants to be able to sit at the lunch counter and eat a banana split like everyone else.

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks,

A Young Civil Rights Activist

By Cynthia Levinson, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan: picket those white stores, march to protest those unfair laws, and fill the jails — she stepped right up and said, “I’ll do it. Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be. Hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. 

Child of the Civil Rights Movement

By Paula Young Shelton, Illustrated by Raul Colon

Paula Young Shelton, daughter of Civil Rights activist, Andrew Young, brings a child’s unique perspective to an important chapter in America’s history. Paula grew up in the deep south, in a world where whites had and blacks did not. With an activist father and a community of leaders surrounding her, including Uncle Martin (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,) Paula watched and listened to the struggles. She eventually joined with her family, and thousands of others, in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation

By Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Rosa Parks took a stand by keeping her seat on the bus. When she was arrested, her supporters protested by refusing to ride. Soon a community of thousands came together to help each other. Some started taxi services, some rode bikes, but many walked. After 382 days, they walked Jim Crow laws right out of town. Boycott Blues presents a poignant, blues-infused tribute to the men and women of the Montgomery bus boycott who refused to give up until they got justice.

Freedom Summer

By Deborah Wiles, Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim. But there’s one important way they’re different, Joe is white and John Henry is black. In the South in 1964, John Henry isn’t allowed to do everything his best friend is. Then a law is passed that forbids segregation. The town pool opens to everyone. Joe and John Henry are so excited they race each other to the pool, only to discover that it takes more than a new law to change people’s hearts.

We March

By Shane W. Evans

On August 26, 1963, a remarkable event took place. More than 250,000 people gathered in our nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Memorial and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The thrill of this day is brought to life in We March, even for the youngest reader. 

A Sweet Smell of Roses

By Angela Johnson, Illustrated by Eric Velazquez

There’s a sweet smell in the air as two young girls sneak out of their house, down the street, and across town to where men and women are gathered, ready to march for freedom and justice. A Sweet Smell of Roses is inspired by countless children and young adults who took a stand and participated in the Civil Rights Movement. 

The book descriptions used are primarily the publishers.

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Books For Kids: Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Thomas Edison Invented…

Thomas Edison grew up at a time when children went to work to help support their families. At age twelve or thirteen, he sold newspapers on the train that ran from his hometown, Port Huron, Michigan, to Detroit.

In his free time, Thomas like to read all about science and technology. He also liked to experiment with chemicals. He set up a laboratory in his basement. And he even conducted experiments in the baggage car of the train he worked on.

Young Thomas Edison (Wikimedia Commons)

At age sixteen, Thomas became a telegraph operator for the railroad. But he had to leave his job after a train accident was blamed on him. He then worked for the Associated Press at night. This job allowed him to read and work on experiments during the day.

Thomas Edison (Wikimedia Commons)

His first invention was an electric vote recorder. The recorder could be used by members of legislatures to count their votes on bills right away. But it was a failure. Thomas discovered that politicians did not want a fast way to count their votes.

Thomas’s first successful invention was a stock ticker that improved on earlier ones. His stock ticker let investors know quickly what was happening in the stock market.

Thomas Edison and his phonograph (Pixabay)

Thomas Edison’s first big invention was the phonograph. It recorded and produced sound that people could hear clearly. This invention made him famous all over the world. He became known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park.” Menlo Park was his research laboratory complex in New Jersey.

Thomas Edison and engineers at Menlo Park (Shutterstock)

Now it was time for his greatest invention, the incandescent light bulb. Inventors had tried for years to come up with an electric light bulb that would replace gaslight. But no one had found a practical way to do that.

First, Thomas set up the Edison Electric Light Company. Then he worked for years trying to perfect a light bulb. He failed many times until he tried a platinum filament. The light bulb burned for 13 1/2 hours. But Thomas wanted a bulb that would burn much longer and would be cheaper to make.

Edison light bulb (Shutterstock)

Thomas had been fishing with a bamboo pole made from bamboo threads. He decided to try a carbonized bamboo filament. And eureka, his light bulb lasted for over 1,200 hours. It was affordable too. Thomas demonstrated his light bulb by lighting up his Menlo Park laboratory complex.

Thomas Edison (Pixabay)

Thomas wasn’t satisfied just inventing a practical light bulb. He wanted to light up everyone’s home, business, and factory. He started the Edison Illuminating Company. Thomas’s first power station went into operation in Manhattan. It lit up a one-mile square area. It was only a matter of time until electric light lit up the world.

His other inventions include a motion picture camera, and a Kinetoscope to project the images on, and the first alkaline battery for electric cars. It was the forerunner of the alkaline batteries we use today. 

A quote by Thomas Edison (Shutterstock)

To learn more about Thomas Edison and his inventions visit:

Books For Kids:

Timeless Thomas:

How Edison Changed Our Lives

By Gene Barretta

Thomas Edison and His Bright Idea

By Patricia Brennan Demuth

Illustrated by Jez Tuya

Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?

By Margaret Firth, Illustrated by John O’Brien

Young Thomas Edison

By Michael Dooling

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